096.1: Amanda Auchter:: Do You Know What It Means & Harriet Beecher Stowe at the Cornstalk Hotel, New Orleans, 1850 & Gunshot Pastoral & The City That Care Forgot
19 March 2012
New Orleans is just as much an idea, a fantasy, as it is a place, just as all the “great” cities are, and even some of the not-so-great ones. Through Amanda Auchter's eyes we see not so much documents of a city as much as stories informed and inspired by the legendary city that is New Orleans. These stories are as odd as they are beautiful. In the one persona poem of the set, we have a nineteenth century baroness speaking after she survives four gunshots from a spurned lover. “How animal in my desire/ to live: my body a plague// of gun-shots, starburst/ wounds” she says, and we hear echoes of Auchter's very personal earlier work where so often the speaker is Auchter herself. Among the accomplishments in this set is the way she makes these stories feel so personal.